We met with Secretary of the CDFA, Karen Ross, and she is assigning a working group to help come up with how to handle herdshare type situations. She put in a 4 month time line to get this done.
Also, Piper had her beautiful bull calf, Drummer, today. He is half Normande and half Jersey. A2A2. So pretty!
The lab results came back last Friday. They are perfect! Showing that our system is working consitently. Pathogens were 0, coliforms 0, and the standard plate count was only 100. The state of california allows for 15,000 in raw milk. Hmmmm. We must be doing something right.
Piper is only a few days out before her calf is due. We are waiting on pins and needles to see what she gives us. She is bred to a A2A2 Normande Bull, as is Josie.
I am beginning this as a hopefully regular posting about what is happening in the raw milk arena. It is personal to me, because I have been targeted by the CDFA (California Dept. of Food and Agriculture) in regards to the raw milk herdshare I have on my farm. It bothers me to no end that our government is wasting millions of dollars using SWAT type raids on Amish farmers and local private buying clubs who want access to raw milk. I am aware of 3 other raw milk herdshares (goats in these cases) in our state that have been given cease and desist orders. One owner has been arrested.
What makes the government agencies think they have a right and obligation to attack small farmers? Although they say it is public safety, the reality is that raw milk is one of the safest raw foods in our country. Let me qualify that by saying there are 2 kinds of raw milk. The one from CAFO commercial dairies designed for pasturization, and the raw milk produced for direct human consumption from grass fed cows on pasture. Two very different products.
I will write more later, I gotta go send my milk sample to Colorado because the CDFA refuses to test mine since I am legally not a dairy, but they do want me to act like I am.
We are getting ready to plant our seedlings in the ground. We finally have some finished compost with many more piles “digesting” and working their miracle on the animal manures. I may start with our new orchard and the first 300 sq ft of garden that was prepared by Hailei, Matt and Colby. We actually don’t have that many seedlings, because the sparrows got in our greenhouse and completely decimated them a month or so ago. We finally figured out how to keep them out and are planting new seeds, but they will have a pretty late start this year.
The new Icelandic Pelts are in and they are absolutely beautiful! Come to the marketplace and check it out!
This is our new mobile hen house. I am so excited to fill it with our new chickies when they grow up. Luke Auville of Chivalry Timbers Construction built it for me.
We woke up Saturday morning to a blanket of snow across the farm… beautiful!
Thanks to my son Robert, for fixing my tractor, I was able to begin building the first bio-dynamic compost piles under our new solar array! I am so excited to finally begin making (or rather, having nature make) wonderful compost of our lovely cow and horse manures that will increase the fertility of our farm!! Yay!!!
Susan Mills, a master felter, flew from Maine to teach several felting classes at my sisters farm. An amazing experience for all who participated. Stay tuned for future classes.